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Gujarat EC Sends Notice to Archbishop Who Urged Christians to Vote for 'Secularism'

Archbishop Thomas Macwan. (CNN-News18 TV grab)

Archbishop Thomas Macwan. (CNN-News18 TV grab)

Macwan, in his letter, wrote,"Nationalist forces are on the verge of taking over the country. The elections of Gujarat State Assembly can make a difference!"

New Delhi: The Gujarat Election Commission on Saturday sent a notice to the Archbishop of Gujarat's Gandhinagar seeking an explanation for his letter that urged the Christian community to vote for those "open to secularism".

The notice further enquires why Thomas Macwan's letter should not be interpreted as a violation of the model code of conduct.

Macwan, in his letter, wrote,"Nationalist forces are on the verge of taking over the country. The elections of Gujarat State Assembly can make a difference!"

His letter expressed concern over the "growing insecurity among the minorities, OBCs, BCs, poor and so on." Though no political parties were mentioned in the letter, it explicitly talked about attacks on "our churches, church personnel, faithful or institutions."

"The secular and democratic fabric of our country is at stake. Human Rights are being violated. The constitutional rights are being trampled. Not a single day goes without an attack on our churches, faithful or institutions," he wrote.

Macwan's letter was widely construed as anti-BJP, the ruling party in Gujarat. Macwan had also said that the elections are "significant for the future course of our country".

"The recitation of the Holy Rosary at individual, community, family and parish levels will be of great help. Encourage your faithful to pray the Rosary," he said.

In the letter, the Archbishop had also cited examples of how such prayers saved Europe during the victory at Lepanto (referring to the battle of 1571 in which Holy League of Venetian and Spanish empires defeated Ottoman Empire in the Gulf of Patras), and how "protecting hand of our beloved Mother Mary defeated communist governments and dictators in a number of countries".